AJ Agazarm vs. Lucas ‘Hulk’ Barbosa tops Pit Submission Series 5

Check out the full, three-match lineup at Karate Combat’s Pit Submission Series 5, set to go down in Austin, TX on May 30.

Karate Combat is slated to return to action on Thursday, May 30, and the promotion will continue its foray into the world of submission grappling.

Pit Submission Series 5 features three submission-only, no-gi matches.

First, teenage phenom Helena Crevar will square off with current UFC flyweight fighter Mariya Agapova. Widely recognized among the sport’s top no-gi competitors, Crevar is a recent ADCC West Coast Trials champion and will come into this contest fresh off a decision win over fellow ADCC Trials winner Aurelie Le Vern at the UFC Fight Pass Invitational 7.

Agapova, meanwhile, is essentially brand new to submission grappling competition. She boasts a 10-4 professional MMA record that includes two UFC wins across five appearances in the organization. She is currently on a two-fight skid, having lost both by submission and hasn’t competed since 2022.

Next, B-Team standout Ethan Crelinsten will return for his second Pit Submission Series appearance to take on UFC lightweight contender Jordan Leavitt. Known for his crafty back-takes and incredible scrambling ability, Crelinsten is a two-time ADCC Trials champion and a mainstay on the elite no-gi scene.

For his part, Leavitt has showcased a well-rounded MMA game across his six appearances in the UFC, going 3-3 overall. He owns six career submission victories across 11 total MMA wins.

Finally, in the evening’s final submission grappling match, 2014 IBJJF no-gi world champion and 2017 ADCC silver medalist AJ Agazarm – one of the most controversial figures in the sport – will face multiple-time gi and no-gi world champion and 2022 ADCC silver medal winner Lucas “Hulk” Barbosa.

While both men are accomplished competitors at the black belt ranks, Barbosa will hold a significant size advantage over Agazarm, who has not earned a notable win over elite competition in nearly two years. Barbosa, meanwhile, has spent much of his energy focusing on his budding MMA career over the past couple of years but remains one of the top 88kg grapplers in the world.

Pit Submission Series 5 lineup

  • AJ Agazarm vs. Lucas Barbosa
  • Ethan Crelinsten vs. Jordan Leavitt
  • Helena Crevar vs. Mariya Agapova

How to watch: Pit Submission Series 5 takes place on Thursday, May 30, and will air live for free on the Karate Combat YouTube channel.

Ben Coate

Ben has been involved with grappling, whether through wrestling or Brazilian jiu-jitsu, essentially his entire life. After wrestling throughout his childhood, Ben found Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a young adult and quickly fell in love. He has been training for over ten years and currently holds the rank of brown belt, and remains involved in both the MMA and BJJ scene. Ben has been writing about combat sports since 2017. He has interviewed and profiled some of MMA's biggest stars, including multiple UFC champions.

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